When you ask Calvin Quartman what he thinks of the San Bernardino YMCA, his answer is: “The Y is my first home”. Calvin says this with a wink and a wide smile but the truth in his statement rings clear.
Along with over 2,100 individuals in the city of San Bernardino, Calvin and his mother are homeless.
After their last living situation abruptly changed, Calvin and his mother, Carolyn, found themselves living in their car. Despite the difficulties they faced each day, they held on to their unwavering hope that something great was just around the corner.
That something great turned out to be the San Bernardino YMCA.
Amidst all of the uncertainty and challenges they were facing, the Y provided safety, stability and resources that were needed by both Calvin and Carolyn. Inside the walls of the Y, they found staff eager to assist them and amenities they needed to get back on their feet. Together, they would spend their time exercising to relieve the stress of their situation or using the internet to apply for jobs and look for places to stay.
“The Y is a blessing,” shares Calvin. “When you’re homeless, finding a safe place to shower can be a luxury. The Y has given me and my mother a place to do that. We cannot say thank you enough for that.”
However, Calvin and Carolyn are not the only ones to benefit by being a part of the YMCA. To the staff, this family is the face for resilience and kindness. With bright smiles and an easygoing sense of humor, they are cherished by the staff.
“Despite his current circumstance, Calvin is always upbeat and always positive,” shared Danielle Banks, the YMCA of the East Valley’s CAPS Director. “Since he’s been at the Y, his cheerful spirit has never wavered.”
The future is bright for the mother-son duo. They’re participating in a housing initiative that will help them find a place to call home. Calvin has now made it a habit to exercise each day, a feat he felt would not have happened without the Y. This promising new beginning would not be possible without our Financial Assistance program that made it possible for them to join.